You are currently viewing An Interview with University of Central Missouri’s Aureus Equity in Education Annual Scholarship Recipient, Riley Corbitt
Aureus Tech Systems Invests in Student Technology Education

An Interview with University of Central Missouri’s Aureus Equity in Education Annual Scholarship Recipient, Riley Corbitt

At Aureus, we obviously believe that the future is technology, especially Big Data & Analytics, AI, and cloud computing. There are so many brilliant minds in this world who, with the right tools and resources, can accomplish miraculous things.  

“As a UCM alumni who graduated from the CIS program, I’m honored to play a part in contributing to UCM’s CIS program and assisting deserving students cultivate their unique gifts to pursue a career in technology. UCM offered me an impactful education, and this is one way of giving back to UCM and the world at large,” said Sujata Bhattarai, CEO of the woman-led and owned Aureus Tech Systems.  

We’re proud to offer our new scholarship “Aureus Equity in Education Annual Scholarship for the Computer Information Systems & Analytics (CIS) program at The University of Central Missouri (UCM).” Among a sea of applicants, we’ve chosen Riley Corbitt, a Big Data & Analytics major, as our recipient. Below is our refreshing interview with her! 


Aureus: Hi Riley! It’s great to be chatting with you today. First question, how did you hear about the scholarship?  

Riley: Yes, likewise! Well, I had meeting with the head of our department, Dr. Kesh, and he mentioned that the scholarship would be available to apply to soon and I should consider applying. And then about a month later my professor in one of my programming classes also brought it up. So, I just went out on a whim and thought “why not?! This is a great opportunity!”   

Aureus: That’s wonderful! It seems like UCM staff is kept apprised of student opportunities and do a diligent job communicating them to students, rather than just posting on a bulletin board or something. And why did you apply? 

Riley: I was pre-occupational therapy at Mizzou and transferred to study Big Data and Business Analytics, so I really wanted to immerse myself in that fast to get more familiar with my career field and major, especially since Big Data and Business Analytics is pretty new overall and to UCM. 

Aureus: Interesting! That’s a pretty drastic transition. What drove you to transfer?  

When COVID hit, I took two summer classes, one of them being intro to business. I’ve never taken a business class before in my entire life and I really loved it. It was one of those life subjects that came really naturally to me. I understood it. And I’ve also always loved statistics, and it’s the kind of math that just makes sense to me. My mom and stepdad are both in the business area with the Air Force and I told them I was considering switching majors. They both immediately lit up and said they’d think I’d be great at it. I was thinking about switching from Mizzou to UCM anyway and when I solidified the decision to switch, I began looking at majors and Big Data and Business Analytics popped up, and I liked how it was kind of a mixture of all of the business majors: economics, accounting, management, computer science, and heavily statistics, so it sounded like a perfect fit. I would love to get just a little bit of everything. And I took my first programming class this this past semester and absolutely loved it, so I think it’s a really good fit.  

Aureus: So glad you’re loving it! It can be a bit difficult at age 18 to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life. It’s a huge decision and a lot of pressure, so I commend you for taking that that leap. Seems like you’re on a great journey and keep continuing to take advantage of these opportunities. So how do you plan on taking advantage of the scholarship? 

Riley: The scholarship will go straight to my tuition and UCM and other school expenses, which will be truly helpful and give me a leg up.  

Aureus: What is the most interesting thing in technology you’ve learned thus far?  

In my programming class we did a lot of building formulas to produce an output, like real-life applications, such as an ice cream store application or gym membership application. And that’s what I love because it plays into that statistics part of things needed to build the formulas. But the fact that you know you can basically build a program from absolutely nothing just fascinates me, honestly, and I love the feeling you have when you can get the program to do what you’re telling it to do. That’s probably the most fascinating thing I’ve learned so far.  

Aureus: Ah yes! It is such a good feeling building something from nothing, putting all of the work into it, and finally having that a-ha moment of success. So, after UCM what does your ideal career look like?  

Riley: I would really like to either work for the military or the FBI. I am actually applying for an internship with the FBI this fall. Since my mom and stepdad both work government jobs that’s kind of what I’ve grown up with. And I like the environment and the opportunities for advancement that come with it. I also would be open to working for a large tech company or as a data analyst. Dr. Kesh told me that one of our graduates is working for The Kansas City Royals as a data analyst which sounds like a really cool job. So really I’m open to anything— what I love about my major is that there are so many opportunities and you can do so many different things, so I’m really open to anything. 

Aureus: Do you feel like you would thrive working behind a desk for the most part and just focusing on your job, or would you like to interact more with people, or a mixture of both?  

I think I’d like a mixture of both. I know that working from home is starting to become more and more popular nowadays ever since COVID and everything, and I definitely wouldn’t mind that. My job at UCM now is an office environment and I like that. I’m open to anything and flexible. I’m the type of person who sits down and gets the work done either way. I guess it just depends on the job I end up getting and what the employer prefers.  

Aureus: Do you have anything else to share that you’d like to share?  

Riley: I really, really appreciate this opportunity. It’s opportunities like these that help a school open up new opportunities for me and other students, so I’m very grateful for Aureus extending the scholarship and for UCM doing such a great job coordinating and communicating these opportunities.  

Aureus: Well, this has been great. Riley, I feel like you have a bright future ahead of you in whatever career path that you choose. It seems like you have a great head on your shoulders and just continue to be you and pay attention to what lights you up throughout the day. When you do that and focus on what energizes you, then your career path will just become more and more clear.  

Riley: Thank you so much! I really appreciate that and taking the time to interview me.  

Aureus loved interviewing with Riley! Our students truly are our future and have the amazing opportunity to make the world a better place with technology. Have any other ideas on how Aureus can help students in technology? Shoot us a message here: and feel free to follow us on social media by clicking the icons below.